Everybody recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you might not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help fortify your hearing. Understanding more about these connections can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to a study carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The connection between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing loss amount. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to experience hearing loss!
In this study, waist size also turned out to be a reliable indicator of hearing loss. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in individuals who took part in frequent physical activity.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had nearly double the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a loud setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids often don’t realize they have a hearing problem. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a danger the hearing loss could worsen when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers suspect that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms related to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.
The sensitive inner ear is made up of numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will stop working properly if they are not kept healthy. It’s crucial to have strong blood flow. This process can be hindered when obesity causes narrowing of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts sound waves and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually irreversible.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent decreased risk of developing hearing loss compared to those who exercised least. Reducing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you need to be a marathon runner. Walking for two or more hours every week resulted in a 15 percent decreased chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.
Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your whole family. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and put together a routine to help them shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, talk to a hearing specialist to discover whether it is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can conduct a hearing test to verify your suspicions and advise you on the steps needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care physician if necessary.